Thursday, May 29, 2008


I don't have any fabulous vintage photos, but as proof that I am still. alive. I offer a list of today's momentous occasions.

First jar of jam sold 2008. (Strawberry honey to coworker.)
First Ecuadorians met in the bay area. (Told joke about fanesca.)
First peach of the season eaten. (Literally had to sit down after the first bite, stricken by an unexpected attack of joie de vivre.)

Photo of the Day:

August, senior year, 60 Home Ave.

PS Obligatory Pioneer Valley shoutout: I saw "Young @ Heart" the other day. It was OUTSTANDING. I literally laughed and cried my way through the whole dang thing. I also behaved very well and only poked Jessica, my unfortunate seatmate, twice - once when they drove by the old PVPA building, and the first time they showed Dan R. doing sound. All in all, highly recommended, even if you've never shared a stage with them at Northampton's Ed Sullivan Variety Show (Noho repreSENT!!!).

PPS Just in case you need more convincing... Interspersed throughout the film were these AMAZING music videos that the chorus did for some of the songs they sing. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I now present to you I Will Survive/Staying Alive and Road to Nowhere. They're INFINITELY better if you've already seen the movie and know some of the characters, but even if you haven't they're so. Worth. It.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial weekend roundup

Let's hear it for holiday weekends, which allow me to pretend to be something resembling an actual blogger! Relatedly, let's hear it for organizations that are only patriotic on three-day weekends. Hip hip hooray for all of the above.

As mentioned, R&I spent Friday night at Colorado Bend State Park. We pitched our tent in a well-insulated clearing for whose protection we would have been grateful had it been, oh, say, forty below and windy - but which in reality only made our tent 90 degrees AND completely airless. (Somehow this didn't stop us from sleeping for 11 hours, though. We woke up smug and sweating at 8:30am the following morning.) We did some hiking, and also went wading in the mighty Colorado, which maxed out at maybe a foot and a half deep out in the center of the river, but still provided some nominal refreshment. We were, however, the only people out in that part of the water, so I became immediately convinced that there must be something scary everyone else knew about that we didn't... I wasn't sure whether I should be worrying about water snakes, alligators, scorpions - do scorpions swim? - giardia, or undertow, so I decided to worry about all of them, just to be on the safe side. We emerged from the water totally unscathed, I can only assume thanks to my constant vigilance ("Richard, did you feel something? Richard, why are we the only ones out here? Richard, am I going to get a terrible disease through the cut on my ankle?"). Nature in Texas DOES tend to run on the dangerous side (one of the parents at the preschool where I worked told me that when he first moved to Texas from California, his brother, who already lived here, warned him that "everything in Texas either bites, stings, or sticks," and I have so far not experienced any natural element that has disproved this statement) so I felt completely justified in my stress levels. Well, I'm pretty sure alligators don't live in this part of Texas.

Oh! And after two and a half years in Texas, we finally saw our first armadillos! About damn time!

There were actually lots of them waddling around all over the place - we even saw some cute little babies snuffling for their dinner. Now all I have to see is some tumbleweed and all of my Texas stereotype sightings will be complete.

R had to work Sunday so we came back into town on Saturday. Yesterday I started on some severely needed housecleaning projects, including but not limited to washing the shower curtain and scooping the ants out of the honey jar before R (who tends to be more squeamish on the insect front than I; it compensates for my utter unmanliness in all things regarding our car or our finances) saw them and refused to eat any honey ever again. Yesterday evening we went to see a free performance of "Much Ado About Nothing" in the park with Alexa... I don't like Shakespeare, but I do like picnics, so it all evened out. Afterwards I met up with my friend Noelle who I haven't seen in months and closed down several bars with her (which sounds much more badass than it actually was, since it was Sunday and most of the bars were closing early anyways). Today's big plans include washing all the cigarette smoke out of my hair, eating the last package of kimchi ramen left over from our camping trip that R is making for us right now, and luxuriating in my last day off. A bad movie might be in order. We shall see. Happy Memorial Day!



Friday, May 23, 2008

And Rebecca doesn't even live in Middletown anymore...

So Ted Kennedy was supposed to deliver Wesleyan's commencement speech this weekend, but because of his health issues, he's asked Obama to fill in for him.

Um, no offense to whatever guy gave our commencement speech. But I am ever. So. Jealous.

Let's please have a moment of silence in which all the Wesleyan graduates who read this blog wish they'd been born in 1986...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In which I do not take a trip to Houston.

Well! I hate to disappoint, but my weekend was decidedly less whirlwind than expected, largely because I didn't actually hang out with Rebeccas on Saturday night or meet them in the city for Bay to Breakers on Sunday, or meet KT's little Shane at all. Turns out my energy peaked at my last blog entry. My poor homebody self was just too oversocialized after the big concert and working Saturday, that I just had to sleep from approximately 8 pm til 11 am, and only leave my bed for farewell Thai food in Berkeley. But there was still much R^3 reunion fun had by all. Now we have dispersed again, to great lamentation. Tall R is done with her first year of law school and is just about ready to jet down to Ecuador for the summer, Becky is back in her native Wisconsin, and short R (saddest. nickname. ever.) is back to work. We're suddenly shorthanded, so I've got loads of evening shifts at the bookstore til school is out. The upside is no more Monday shifts, which means I get to sing weekly now! The downside is no house dinners for me in the near future. (Though if it means continuing to miss out on adventures in pest control, I won't complain too loudly...) Overworked or no, I still plan to ring in Memorial Day properly with the first jam of the season. Woo!

I leave you with more Juanes. From our concert this time. (Es posible tener demasiado Juanes? Creo que no.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hi ho, it's back to Houston we go

(Figured I'd better squeeze in a weekend rundown before Rebecca gets a chance to one-up me with her crazy Ecuadorian reunions and such...)

So in a feat of brilliant planning, I managed to fit in my second six-hour round-trip drive to Houston just days after my first. R and I took our second biannual trip out of Austin to see Radiohead, which played out much as our first one did: he bought two tickets, told me he'd pay for my ticket and a hotel room if I came with him, and I came with him. At least we didn't have to fly to California this time. And I have to admit, the show was terrific. I'm not sure if it truly was infinitely better than the one we saw in San Diego, or if I'm just the kind of old-fashioned girl who believes that being able to actually see a band (as opposed to the back of the heads of the tallest men in the audience, who have all decided that in front of you is a fantastic place to stand) when you go to their show adds a lot to the whole concert experience, but I enjoyed myself immensely. Probably not as much as Richard, who maybe hasn't been that excited since he asked if he could wear my old ring and I told him he could keep it back in ought-six -- there were times last night when I feared I might have lost my fiance forever to Radiohead's lead singer if only Thom Yorke had said the word; fortunately, however, Mr. Yorke was much too busy playing to make a pass at any audience members, so I escaped with my engagement still intact -- but immensely nonetheless.

We managed to squeeze in a little sightseeing as well... Saturday afternoon I agreed to not complain (much) when we took the St. Arnold's Brewery tour, and in exchange R gamely found us a museum to visit on Sunday afternoon. (The Menil; it was a really nice private collection, made even better by the fact that our walk there took us past a store called The Chocolate Bar, which is the sort of place where you pause to glance at the window display and end up leaving full of ice cream. I have no idea how that happened.)

And so went my second trip to Houston. Okay, Rebecca, your turn.



Saturday, May 17, 2008

La vida es...

Heat wave! Rebeccas!! Juanes!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to entertain yourself when you drive to Houston and back in one day

1. Listen to horrendous Christian radio. Change the station after the hip young DJ tells a story about how the tv sitcom she's hooked on isn't good for her heart or spirit.

2. Make a mental list entitled "Things I Just Passed That I Wouldn't See In Massachusetts" (man selling watermelons out of his truck on the side of the highway, twelve churches in a town with a population of 228, etc).

3. Listen to horrendous country radio. Subject yourself to the entirety of a song that includes the rousing refrain "I believe in love / I believe in babies / I believe in Mom and Dad / I believe in you."

4. Admire the wall-to-wall wildflowers in all the fields and median strips. Grudgingly admit that Texas is kinda pretty.

5. Listen to horrendous talk radio, featuring a show on which three insufferable men are interviewed by an only slightly less insufferable girl to determine conclusively what guys REALLY think about breakups, falling in love, what makes a chick good in bed, etc. Pray that they will stop regurgitating stereotypes for just long enough that you stop feeling nauseated. Remind yourself that this is why none of your friends are like the people on the radio.

6. Before you drive home, change out of your respectable conference outfit and into comfier clothes. Feel like a slightly subversive feminazi when you stop for dinner at Subway and remember that you're not wearing a supportive female undergarment.

7. When you pass Blume Lane, amuse yourself by thinking about the time your dad tried to trick you into riding a roller coaster at Disney World by calling it the "Judy Blume ride." Find yourself strangely compelled to turn onto Blume Lane, even though you're pretty sure it's not actually named after your favorite childhood author. Resist compulsion. Slightly regret it later.

8. Come home and watch The Simpsons and Family Guy to wash the bitter taste of Houston out of your mouth. Feel better already.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

View From the Dogsitter's Couch Ω∂√A

(Coauthored by Omie. She contributed the last part of the title.)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I'm going to New Orleans for the first time for a conference June 11-12. Who wants to take a long weekend and come meet me down there? Is it YOU?

UPDATE: No really, I'm serious.

PS to Matt: As per your comment, I've taken the liberty of removing the offending "out" from my previous post.

PPS to Rebecca: "Modulo"???? I think Matt once again may have contributed the only contendor for this year's Word That Appears to Be Made-Up But Isn't category. Linda, you wanna define this one for us, too?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Because a proper lady always has a cake ready for company

While Steve and Inder have been a whirlwind of parties and art openings, I was perfectly content to fill my Sunday with a trip to the farmers market, a beer in the sunny backyard, and a VHS of City on the Edge of Forever I picked up at the store.

Then tonight I baked a chocolate cake. Just to break in my pretty new bundt pan. (The previously featured Lithuanian coffee cake, while tasty, suffered some unfortunate oven temperature mishaps and entered the world in a form more resembling crumble than bundt.) No sooner had I whipped up some cream and started on a strawberry coulis than Natalia and Robin popped by for a visit! They helped me decorate, document, and devour.


Cake. Another Veganomicon success. Recipe here.

R digs into her slice.

N feels accomplished as she displays her clean plate.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

It's the little things

Weekend highlight: My new pillow. For years now I've been vaguely intending to stop breathing PVC fumes all night, but getting a pillow that doesn't give you cancer is surprisingly cost-prohibitive. However, I finally sucked it up and bought myself a shiny new 100% wool pillow from the Pretentious Bedding Store. SO worth it. Good lord. It's like sleeping on a cloud! Richard steadfastly maintains that I'm only enamored because my last pillow was so awful, but I can shut down that conversation as quickly as it begins by demanding how he could possibly know what my pillow feels like and then pointing my finger and yelling "BED HOG!"

Weekend lowlight: Getting shit on by a bird at Opal Divine's tonight. That's actually never happened to me before, so I must confess to being ever so slightly relieved. I'd built up an irrational fear of my initiation into the world of bird droppings... I wasn't sure whether it would involve a job interview, a fancy dress, or having my face be the the bulls-eye, but with every passing day in which I did not get shit on, I became ever more convinced that it would be one of those three. However, I emerged relatively unscathed. Actually, I'm most cranky about the facts that 1.) I'd already washed my hair today, and 2.) according to the exhaustive Internet search I conducted this evening, my long-held belief that being shit on by a bird is good luck (see Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself) appears to have no basis in actual legitimate superstition. Thanks a lot, Judy Blume.